Decks are not going out of style anytime soon, and 2012 offers plenty of trends that will boost the enjoyment you get out of your cedar deck – as well as the value of your home. This year’s top trends are all about simplicity when it comes to decking materials, utility and aesthetics. Here’s a look at the top decking trends for 2012:
1. Non-Wood Decking Materials
Cedar decking is a staple feature of the all-American home, but it does require a fair bit of upkeep – especially in rainy climates. That’s why non-wood decking materials have continued to rise in popularity. The last couple of years have seen exciting developments in non-wood decking materials. PVC decking, such as the stain-resistant decking materials offered by Endeck, is available in a variety of colors and styles and requires only minimal maintenance. In many cases, non-wood decking is even made from recycled materials – for example, the highly durable Gorilla Deck, whose interlocking deck system also makes installation a cinch.
2. Waterproof Underdeck
As average property sizes continue to shrink, homeowners are getting more creative about maximizing every bit of usable living space they can squeeze out of their homes. One technique that’s catching on is to install underdecking on second-story decks. By installing a waterproof underdeck beneath the boards on the upper level of your deck, you can transform the space beneath into a covered porch or patio.
Traditional cedar deck boards have a bit of space between them so water can drain. When you install an underdeck, you can redirect the water that falls between the deck boards to prevent it from dripping down into the area below – transforming unusable space into a viable outdoor living space. Alternatively, some non-wood decking materials such as Gorilla Deck are designed to keep the below-deck area dry. Talk to your decking contractor to learn more about installing a waterproof underdeck on an existing deck.
3. Water Features
Water features are another must-have for 2012. A water feature is simple to install on cedar decking and can instantly beautify your outdoor living space. The sound of water trickling has the power to drown out traffic and noisy neighbors, so you feel like you are in your own serene, private oasis. When you install a water feature on a wood deck, make sure you install a moisture-proof liner between the feature and the deck materials, because pooling water can cause the wood to rot. Alternatively, if you are contemplating the addition of a deck and want to install a water feature on it, consider using water-resistant, non-wood decking materials.
Regardless of the type of water feature you choose to install, make sure you use a pump so the water continuously flows. Standing water can attract unwanted pests, like mosquitoes, that like to create nests in still waters. If you do lay down a waterproof liner between the water feature and your deck, you can hide the liner with decorative stones and plants.
4. Outdoor Décor and Furniture
Maximize the use you get out of your cedar decking by adding outdoor furniture and weatherproof decorative items. Your options in outdoor furniture are no longer limited to picnic tables, plastic tables and chairs that have a short lifespan, or uncomfortable metal chairs that leave lines on the back of your legs. Today’s outdoor furniture is similar to the furniture you would use in your own home, complete with sofas, glass-topped tables, tall bistro tables with matching stools, and sturdy patio swings.
Warm up on chilly days or nights with a fire pit placed in the middle of a seating arrangement and gas-fueled warming lamps near the grill and tables. Additional decorative items to add to your deck include decorative potted plants, wind chimes, Japanese-inspired bells made of cast iron or a mosaic tabletop made with different colors of glass or tiles.
5. Outdoor Lighting
As landscapers are increasingly discovering, there’s no downside to outdoor lighting. It makes your cedar deck more functional after sundown, increases your home’s curb appeal and helps highlight the interesting features of your cedar deck. The trendiest lights this season are energy-efficient LEDs, followed by solar-powered lights. They can be mounted onto posts, draped in strands on deck rails or used to illuminate steps and pathways. When choosing outdoor lighting, make sure you specifically choose a product that can withstand all of the elements.